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  • Study Type

    Full time available

  • Subject Areas


  • Start Date


  • Course Duration

    12 months

  • Course Type


  • Course Fees


  • Last Updated

    10 August 2017

Course content

The only applied structural geology Masters in the UK. Providing you with advanced training in the practical application of structural geology, preparing you either for employment in the hydrocarbon or mining industries or for postgraduate study (PhD).

You’ll gain a skillset combining advanced structural techniques and interpreting seismic data, an understanding of structural systems in time and space, and an appreciation of both the geological and geophysical constraints of seismic interpretation and model building.

This will enable you to use a combination of structural and geophysical techniques to solve geological problems. As a capable seismic interpreter you’ll be able to contribute in an industry role from day one.

Our teaching is research led, with direct links to active applied research. You’ll be taught by a range of research and industry experts, as well as through industry-led workshops. Strong industry links are a feature of this course.

Course highlights:

  • The only applied structural geology Masters in the UK, offering you a route to both industry or a PhD.
  • Unlike other petroleum/ ore geoscience courses in the UK, which only provide you with broad training in all aspects of petroleum and ore geology. At Leeds, apply your skills, tools, and knowledge in structural geology and tectonics to exploration settings, datasets, and problems.
  • A key focus of this Masters is on understanding structural evolution in various settings and the use of 3D and 4D thinking in geological contexts. Skills that are essential for your employment in industry.
  • Gain an international standard of Masters qualification in 12 months rather than 24. We deliver focused, advanced teaching linked to a research project (in contrast to the more research-oriented US Masters).
  • Undertake free fieldwork in the UK and EU that is directly linked to your classroom learning.
  • Choose from hydrocarbon and mining module options, depending on your interests.
  • Access high-spec computing facilities and industry-standard software.
  • Produce an industry or research focused dissertation in your final year.


The following fieldwork to the UK and overseas is free, and forms an integral part of the course. It is directly linked to learning outcomes in the classroom.

  • An introductory field day to Ingleton, North Yorkshire.
  • A 6-day trip to the South West of England. Consider both extensional and compressional tectonics, basin-scale to fault to reservoir scale deformation, fault seal analysis, kinematic and geometric fault evolution, restorations, and 3D fault analysis.
  • A 12-day trip to the Central Spanish Pyrenees. This trip serves as a summary trip where you will pull together elements from the entire course. Consider regional scale orogenic deformation through to basin scale to fracture scale. And the influence of sediment-structure interaction in basin evolution, and tie outcrop scale observations with seismic examples.

Course content

Develop personal skills and a professionalism that will make you employable, as well as increasing your knowledge and technical ability.

You will take 9 months of taught classes, followed by approximately 3 months of independent research and dissertation writing in association with industry or research collaborators.

Carry-out free fieldwork, which forms an integral part of the course, and is directly linked to learning outcomes in the classroom. Besides local visits, there is a 6-day trip to South West England and a 12-day visit to the Spanish Pyrenees.

Some of the modules you will study are spread over 2 semesters, while most are short and intensive. They are devised to develop your advanced understanding of key topics (including large scale tectonics, basin evolution and reservoir scale deformation) and your technical ability through the use of industry-leading software.

Begin, by reviewing the fundamentals of structural geology, maps, and mathematics before moving onto the more advanced modules.

You’ll receive advanced training in structural geology and tectonics, in geological model construction, and the practical application of structural geology. And gain training in interpreting seismic data and the principals underlying data acquisition and processing.

You’ll also undertake professional and research level training in structural geology and basin evolution from regional, to basin, to reservoir/deposit scale.

In semester 2, you can choose from hydrocarbon or mining modules.

Course structure

Compulsory modules

  • Structural Geology Independent Project 60 credits
  • Applied Geophysical Methods 15 credits
  • Integrated Sub Surface Analysis 30 credits
  • Applied Structural Models 20 credits
  • Geomechanics 10 credits
  • Applied Geodynamics and Basin Evolution 15 credits
  • 3D Structure: Techniques and Visualisation 15 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Structural Geology with Geophysics MSc in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

Teaching is varied, with some of your modules being very practical based e.g. fieldwork, presentations, learning new software. While other methods are tutorial or lecture based. You will also have the opportunity to work individually or as a group. Regardless of method, you will be supported by substantial online learning material.


The School of Earth and Environment’s £23m building gives you access to world-class research, teaching and laboratory facilities. As a Masters student, you will have access to a 3D visualisation suite, and to your own dedicated computer facilities, which runs industry standard software.

Industry standard software:

  • 2D and 3D seismic interpretation is done via Kingdom Suite software.
  • Geocellular modelling is delivered on the Petrel platform.
  • Structural modelling and restoration is learnt using Midland Valley's 2DMove software.
  • PCs run a range of structural modelling, GIS and 3D visualisation programmes.
  • If you choose the optional Ore Deposits module, train in Leapfrog 3D deposit modeller.


Given the variety of learning outcomes and teaching methods, you will be assessed differently between modules but generally assessed on a combination of presentations, practicals and/or formal examinations.

We have very strong links with industry, which you’ll benefit from throughout the year. This includes the provision of scholarships, data for dissertation projects, teaching of short courses and free licenses for industry standard software.

Visit the Structural Geology with Geophysics MSc page on the University of Leeds website for more details!






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